Monday, July 27, 2009

Caught out by my bad ways

Our IT guys are scheduled for an audit in a few weeks. A few months ago they sent out e-mail asking us to install safeguard easy on our machines in line with the requirements of the global IT security policy. I refused to install the software. Me thinks anything that encrypts your hard disk must slow down your machine and as it is I leave the office later than I should and don't need anything to keep me here longer. Last week one of the IT managers went round with a list of all the guys who have not installed the damn thing. I am still wondering how he knew. Is there some remote administration tool that lets one know s/w that is installed or not installed on all machines on the network? If there is how does one cheat it. He stood by my desk as I installed the s/w but was happy for me to restart my machine later to complete the installation.

Since then, I only rebooted the machine this morning and then all hell broke loose. Safeguard easy started installing and the machine got slow. I was not going to have any of that none sense so I went to task manager and tried to kill it. It refused to die so I rebooted my machine and then my machine hang. I went in for a meeting and found safeguard easy had started reinstalling and then hang at 22%. That was 10 am. I have done nothing all day. Without my machine (not to be mistaken with any machine) I am like a mat driver without a mat, a doctor without a hospital, a judge without a bench, a plumber without a wrench, a radio presenter without a mic. The IT support guys have been looking at my machine since morning and threatening to give me a new hard disk.

Only problem with a new hard disk is that I will have to recreate a lot of stuff. I have half written reports, half written proposals, lots of useful links stored in my IE favourites folder, 6 years worth of reference documents that I cant remember where I downloaded it from some of the sites might even have closed down, Mercurial mix etc The IT guys have asked me if I usually backup my stuff on the network as is required by company policy or external hard disk as most people usually do. I have never been bothered to back up stuff and the only external storage device I own is a 128mb flash disk.

In the past I have joked that if I ever lost my machine I would resign and not serve notice. I might just get my wish.

4 Comments:

Blogger Samborera said...

I've owned a re-writable CD labelled "Work" for a number of years now. Have other CDs named "Resources" and "Setups". I live with the constant expectation that my machine will die on me.

Monday, July 27, 2009 9:20:00 PM  
Blogger 0.5 said...

Hello aJamaa.

Lost my first hard disk with about 7,000 mp3s in there. I was traumatized for days.

If you can't recover your XP, get a Linux Live CD, like Ubuntu (I have one of these), next drop in at Bloomerg (or some other shop and get an external hard disk). Boot up the laptop on Linux without installing, attach the external and copy all the files across from the native hdd. Linux reads FAT32 with no beef. Your data will be safe.

Now, to defeat the system, you could install a small virtual XP using VMWare. Throw in 5 documents and then encrypt the virtual disk to hell and you can show that to anyone who cares to ask. That leaves the native XP to run as wild as before without compromising performance. Better still, install 2 XPs natively and encrypt one. Still, its time wasting and not a nice way of doing things.

We had such a debacle in the office a while back ..many guys installed Linux on a second partition and on the eve of a check we would run it. Security guys cursed in frustration but my place you are free to run Linux ...eventually, the encryption system defeated itself as regular crashes and slow performance ensured most machines were non-functional. The system was quietly done away with.

Monday, July 27, 2009 9:43:00 PM  
Blogger aJamaa said...

After two days of suffering and having to work with a new machine my old machine resuscitated. I have copied most of the stuff I need but now I have the dilemma of having two copies of a report. I know each has stuff the other does not but dont have the time or the inclination to go through both of them to confirm where the differences area.

Enyewe 0.5 you are a mnyama. Ati install a virtual XP to hold the encrypted partition!!! I should not be surprised after all you are the guy who assigned administrative access to the guest account at some point

Wednesday, July 29, 2009 5:00:00 PM  
Blogger Samborera said...

I use WinMerge for differencing. I don't think it does word documents but you can paste the two into notepad files and use it to see your differences.

Thursday, July 30, 2009 12:34:00 PM  

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